LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Evidence of rising sea level

Multifamily housing behind a large Fran-eroded dune

Evidence of rising sea level: Coastal erosion and plant community changes

By Dirk Frankenberg

This Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” examines the causes and effects of changes in sea level, both short-term (as a result of storms) and long-term (as a result of climate change). Photographs from barrier islands and Carteret County’s Down East peninsula show how rising sea levels lead to changes in plant communities, as dunes and salt marshes are eroded and salt marsh invades maritime forest and pine woods. You’ll also see the impact of rising sea level on the built human environment.

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